Ulead Announces DVD Workshop 2

Reprinted from a Ulead press release:

Ulead Systems, Inc., a leading developer of image, video, and DVD software, announces DVD Workshop 2, the next version of its professional DVD authoring software. With its initial launch, DVD Workshop was unique in its category as the first DVD authoring software to provide an intuitive workflow with built-in creative design tools. With DVD Workshop 2, Ulead maintains this straightforward, design-centric workflow, while offering more professional DVD authoring features for creating compelling DVDs for worldwide distribution. These features include multiple subtitle and audio tracks, playlists and professional output with support for Digital Linear Tape (DLT) and dual layer DVDs (DVD-9). DVD Workshop 2 targets creative professionals who want to produce sophisticated DVDs with a minimal learning curve.

Ulead will debut DVD Workshop 2 at DV Expo West at booth #135 from December 10 – 12, 2003.

DVD Workshop 2 lets users include alternate music, languages, and commentaries in DVD projects with multiple audio and subtitle tracks. Playlist creation enables professionals to link a sequence of assets-movies, menus, and chapter points-to buttons without duplicating assets. This saves disc space and allows for intricate menu navigation. Replicating DVD titles is now possible with DVD Workshop 2’s support for Digital Linear Tape (DLT), along with dual layer DVDs (DVD-9) for replicating discs with double the capacity for large projects. This new version also offers copyright protection with support for Macrovision and CSS formats, as well as region coding to control which geographic region can view DVD titles.

“Over the years I have created a number of commercial DVDs using a variety of DVD authoring applications,” says Brian Hoffman, DVD product manager, Ulead Systems. “I am confident that this new version of Workshop offers the same advanced DVD features, but without the complexity found in other apps in its class. With these new additions, Workshop is the ideal tool for anyone–whether they work in video production, corporate marketing or entertainment–to make sophisticated DVDs.”

Professional DVD Authoring Features
DVD Workshop 2 offers a full gamut of professional DVD authoring functionality. New features include eight multiple audio and 32 subtitle tracks for creating DVDs with different languages, music tracks, commentaries, subtitles, programming, and other messaging. Enhanced audio features give users the ability to control menu and audio track volume, with fade-in and out options, as well as encode (2 channel) and decode (5.1 channel) Dolby AC-3 audio files.

While offering more professional DVD authoring features, DVD Workshop 2 will continue to provide the same solid technology that has made it reliable and productive to use. With its popular MPEG-Direct capture, users can continue to save time and hard disk space by capturing video directly to MPEG and Dolby Digital AC-3 formats using FireWire and analog capture boards. While capturing, the DVD authoring software automatically encodes the video and audio files into high-quality, DVD-compliant MPEG files and supports variable bit-rate encoding for better video quality and smaller file sizes. The software works with all DVD and CD writers (DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/+RW, CD-R/-RW) to create DVD, VCD, and SVCD video formats without the need for additional burning software.

Design-centric Workflow
The heart of DVD Workshop 2 lies in its advanced DVD design features giving users precise control over DVD menu creation. Along with the unique ability to build composited DVD menus, users can now preview motion menus and chapter thumbnails in real-time without rendering. Enhanced chapter thumbnail features let users design irregular-shaped edge masks, rotate buttons with images or video content, and create invisible buttons that appear only with a mouse-over. While DVD Workshop 2 offers an extensive set of built-in creative tools, users can now import graphics that were created in other editing programs, including UFO, PNG and layered PSD file formats, among others.

DVD Workshop 2 continues to give creative professionals complete artistic freedom when creating DVDs, yet provides a host of customizable templates and high-end effects for fast results or to jump-start the creative process. It includes a library of theme-based menu templates and high-quality background images, buttons, frames and other objects. With striking text effects such as wrap, neon, emboss and 3D, creative professionals can make text and captions stand out. Videos, images, or slideshows may be used as an introduction or First Play video that plays before the DVD menu appears. Users can choose to create DVD menus in a variety of ways including a blank menu, a customizable template, or via a Wizard for quick results.

Pricing and Availability
Ulead DVD Workshop 2 will be available in January for an MSRP of $495. Existing DVD Workshop users can upgrade to DVD Workshop 2 for $199. Customers who want to switch from a competing application are eligible to purchase DVD Workshop 2 for $399. Customers who pre-order the full version of DVD Workshop 2 now will receive a $50 discount. For more information go to www.ulead.com.

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